Marieke Bekke is a Dutch painter, who expresses themes of motherhood, family life, and friendship in her compositions. She works thematically and lets the current phase of her life and her experiences guide her creative process. Bekke begins with a photograph, then sketches directly on the canvas, adding acrylics, glossy and dull paints, and crayons. She completes each piece with black lacquer outlines. We sat down with Marieke Bekke to talk about her current projects, inspiration, and the start of her artistic career.
When did you know you wanted to be an artist?
I taught art classes at a secondary school. On the days when I couldn’t resist the urge to improve the children’s drawings with my own pencil, I realized I was a bad teacher… but a good autonomous artist.
Can you talk about your artistic influences and other artists you are most inspired by?
It’s a guilty pleasure and not a smart answer, but I love 20th century impressionists like Monet. They are sweet, sultry and European. Sometimes life also needs some spice, so an expressionist like Egon Schiele is a nice addition. I gave my own children a birth painting of the painter Andrea Letterie. She’s a contemporary Dutch artist who creates beautifully fine pieces, through modern means of communication. I follow her personal dreamy life that is in line with her art. That’s why it’s so appealing to me.
”Your last is always your best.“
Do you prefer to work alone or collaborate with others?
I can well imagine that a conceptual work of art requires collaboration. I prefer to work purely with the client, or from my own imagination. There is always interaction with other people because we’re talking about something visual. While working on the canvas, I am in control of everything; the speed, the color combinations, and the fast lines. Plus, I have secret paint mixes that even my husband doesn’t know about. I often even lock the door, but when painting plein air at a wedding for example, I need interaction with spectators around my easel.
Can you tell us about a project you are currently working on?
I am currently carrying my 3rd child. During all pregnancies I like to paint sweet subjects and to use a romantic color palette with rich gold, like mother swans with chicks. In addition, a swan symbolizes the number 2. Two swans are 22, our favorite number. So all subjects are quite personal in this phase of life and spring season.
What do you think you would be doing if you weren’t an artist?
Then I would always be buying or building new houses, renovating, and redecorating them. I’m not very handy, but with my husband we form a passionate duo who neatly brings difficult jobs to a success. Decorating a bedroom or kitchen can take over my entire day and night. It is also very complex with a proper lighting plan, durability, and a beautiful choice of materials such as natural marble and old personal must-haves combined with new purchases.
Have you found any other artists on SINGULART whose work you admire?
What advice could you give to young artists who are just starting out?
Make all the cliché images in the first months. Then you have already passed that crucial first hurdle, afterwards you follow your own path. Are you hesitant? Do it in steps and make sure your friends and family support you or get your strength from the doubting looks of your environment. Don’t be afraid and remain humble and critical of your own work.